Memorial would be in penalty portion

January 10, 2004 

Prosecutors intend to introduce an edited recording of Laci Peterson's memorial service as evidence to support the death penalty if her husband is convicted, according to court documents filed Friday.

Scott Peterson, 31, is charged with murdering his wife and their unborn son, Conner.

The May memorial service, which was attended by about 3,000 people, demonstrates "the impact that Laci and Conner Peterson's murders had on their immediate family members and the local community," according to prosecutors.

Under state law, if a defendant is convicted of capital murder, a penalty-phase trial is held to determine whether he or she will receive the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

Attorneys on both sides can present evidence designed to show aggravated or mitigating factors in the crime.

Peterson's trial is set for Jan. 26.

In their initial notice, prosecutors said they intend to introduce evidence that Peterson "pre-planned these murders and was preparing to flee," attacked a woman "especially vulnerable" because of her pregnancy and that he "withheld knowledge from distraught family members" about his wife and unborn son's fate and the location of the bodies.

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